08 February 2023
How do you get and keep your tent fabric super clean?
Your tent is exposed to the elements on a regular basis. Therefore, it is important to maintain your tent fabric during and after camping. Even if a stain occurs during camping, it is best to clean it immediately. By acting quickly, you prevent the stain from soaking into the fabric. Do you want to know how to maintain your tent the best way? We give you tips and advice on how to clean and keep your tent fabric clean!
At TenCate Outdoor Fabrics, we distinguish two types of tent fabric: coated and uncoated. When cleaning a stain, take into account the type of material. That way you avoid damaging the fabric unknowingly.
Coated tent fabrics
All Season Residential and All Season Touring are coated tent fabrics. These fabrics have a microporous acrylic coating, making them water-repellent, weather-resistant and durable. Due to this coating, the fabric is also easy to clean. Use a soft brush with lukewarm water for this. For most dirt, this is already enough. Are there still stains on it? Then we recommend using a special tent cleaner.
Uncoated tent fabrics
Cotton, PolyCotton, Campshield and Ecoline are uncoated tent fabrics. The advantage of these fabrics is the pleasant climate in the tent. In the event of a stain in the fabric, it is important to act quickly. Remove dirt immediately with lukewarm water and a soft brush. If the stain is not gone yet? Then we recommend using a special cleaner for cotton fabrics.
Most common mistakes when cleaning tent fabrics
Many people use aggressive cleaning products, dish soap, or vinegar when cleaning their tent fabric. To help you, we list the most common mistakes here. We also give tips on how to clean your tent fabric the right way.
Never use aggressive cleaning products
People often turn to aggressive cleaning products when there is an unpleasant stain in the tent fabric. We always advise against this! The stain will be removed, but these products also cause (invisible) damage to the tent fabric and coating. Products such as bleach, alcohol, and turpentine, for example, affect the coating and waterproofness of your tent.
Always start cleaning with lukewarm water and a brush or cloth. If that doesn’t work, it’s better to clean the tent fabric with a special tent cleaner. These products clean the fabric and protect it at the same time.
Don’t use dish soap or all-purpose cleaner
Dish soap and all-purpose cleaner are less aggressive, but unfortunately not good for your tent. Dish soap and all-purpose cleaner break down fat. This causes hard or dull spots in the fabric. They also affect the water-repellent coating of the tent, causing the tent to leak faster.
Do not use vinegar or green soap
Vinegar and cleaning vinegar are excellent for all kinds of tasks around the house. However, cleaning your tent with vinegar is not a good idea. The high acidity will damage the impregnating agent, coating and window film.
Green soap is also not suitable for your tent fabric. It leaves a greasy film behind, even if you rinse thoroughly. This makes it easier for mold, algae and dirt to stick to the tent. It is also harder to properly impregnate the tent if green soap has been used for cleaning.
Types of stains and treatments
Bird droppings, mold or your children’s juice; all stains are annoying, but with quick action, you can get them out of your tent fabric. Always try to remove the stain first with lukewarm water. If this doesn’t work, there are often other options. Below are tips for different types of stains:
Bird droppings and berries
Remove the worst dirt first, for example with a spoon. That way you don’t spread it further. Are you there right away? Then all you need is a cloth or soft brush and lukewarm water. Even if it has become hard, you should first scrape off most of the bird droppings. You remove the remains with water and a cloth.
Cleaning grease stains from tent fabric
It is better to prevent grease stains than to cure them. But still, a grease stain can occur. The best way to deal with these is to dab with kitchen paper. Never rub, as you will only spread the grease. When you get home, clean the tent with special cleaning products for tent fabric.
Removing mold and algae from your tent
It is better to prevent mold and weather stains than to cure them. Mold can permanently damage the tent, as it breaks down the fabric. Be alert for gray-black streaks or black dots. Try to brush them out with a little warm water. If the weather is already in the tent, unfortunately, this is no longer possible. In that case, it is best to clean the tent with a special tent fabric cleaner. The most important thing is to impregnate the tent after cleaning. This prevents mold from reoccurring.
Removing resin and candle wax
Resin and candle wax should be treated differently. Do not try to remove it immediately, but let it harden first. Once candle wax is hard, it is much easier to remove. You can then break it or scrape it off the fabric. Do not use a knife or something sharp, as there is a good chance that you will damage the tent. A spoon, for example, also works.
Removing drinks from your tent
Drink stains are luckily easy to remove from your tent fabric. For example, you can remove red wine by sprinkling salt over it. Let this soak in, dab with kitchen paper and rinse the fabric with lukewarm water. With coffee spills, you only need lukewarm water and a cloth. With beverage stains, be there as soon as possible to prevent discoloration.
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